An unusual item turned up while I was attending a wake on Tuesday (April 16th). I disdain wakes, and I’ll have to make sure I don’t get one. I understand for many it’s part of the mourning process, as people need to get together to chitchat outside of a house of worship setting, but to me people sitting in a room with a corpse in it is inherently creepy. Still, 90% of life is showing up, and I did my duty without complaint, and saw some people I haven’t talked to for awhile.
One of them told me about an old rusted sign for a Lutheran church they had seen in the traffic triangle formed by Nostrand Avenue, Gravesend Neck Road and Avenue U, opposite the Brennan and Carr roast beef-a-torium.
Most of the letters have worn off the decades-old sign, but it points to Good Shepherd Lutheran Church at New York Avenue and Avenue M. I have to be forgiven, but I wasn’t under the impression that New York Avenue extended as far south as to meet Avenue M. As it turns out it’s the only one of Brooklyn’s “New York State cities” avenues to extend south of Flatbush Avenue. Brooklyn has a run of north-south avenues named for New York State cities, running west to east in order. The are named for cities running north along the Hudson River, and then, west along the Erie Canal to Lake Erie. Thus, in order, they are: New York, Brooklyn, Kingston, Albany, Troy, Schenectady, Utica, Rochester, and Buffalo. Most of them don’t make it as far south as Flatbush, but those that do take the place of numbered streets; for example, New York Avenue stands in for East 33rd Street.
Interestingly, I have a recent photo of the very church the sign is advertising, Good Shepherd Lutheran at Avenue M and New York Avenue in Midwood. I don’t know why the church placed the sign miles away in Marine Park, but, there it is.